Did You Know: The Real Meaning of “Berber” Carpeting?

What do you think of when you hear “Berber Carpeting”? Probably someone’s light-colored tight loop carpeting from the 1980s or 1990s— right?

Here’s some images that probably come to mind:

Tight Loop Carpet

Berber "Texture"

In the 90s the word “Berber” took on a whole new meaning.

Due to this past design trend to install “berber” carpeting in the 90s, everyone seems to think that the word “berber” denotes the tightly-looped texture of the carpeting. When in fact, the word “Berber” describes the flecks of color variation in the carpeting.

The confusion surely came out of the fact that nearly all of the “berber” carpeting was both tight-looped in style and berber-patterned with its color variation.

Often tight- looped texture carpeting  has the flecked coloring called "Berber"

Often tight- looped texture carpeting has the flecked coloring called “Berber”

Today you can still buy tight-looped carpet as well as actual “berber” flecked carpeting.

Below are some frieze (pronounced “frizz-A”) carpets. Frieze is the type of carpet that has the tightly twisted texture with often a longer cut-pile length. “Pile” refers to the carpet fiber height, which can be cut (giving straight pieces) or looped (giving looped pieces).

Frieze Berber

frieze 3

So what did we learn today?

Berber IS NOT a type and/or texture of looped carpet.

Berber is actually a flecked-coloring pattern style, meaning any carpet type can be a “Berber” carpet if it has flecked color variation.

Frieze carpet has a tightly wound cut-pile texture.

Pile refers to the carpet fiber height which can be cut or looped.